Winter in the Rear View Mirror

Patricia Tice Jarrett
Office Manager
Muskegon River Watershed Assembly

The Freezin Season Winter Carnival was a terrific event for Newaygo County kids and their parents as families gathered at the Newaygo County Welcome Center on March 9 for a full day of winter activities. Some fished through the ice or skated across it while others tubed down a perfect sledding hill. Many young artisans built birdhouses and bat houses with help from MRWA Executive Director Dr. Marty Holtgren and volunteer Dr. Stephanie Ogren.  Volunteer DJ, Doug Harmon kept everyone entertained.

Naturally, there was hearty winter food for all and a roaring campfire, just what you would expect from an event produced by the Newaygo County Conservation Collaborative. Along with the MRWA, founding partners include:

        • Newaygo County Parks and Recreation,
        • Michigan State University Extension,
        • the Newaygo Conservation District,
        • the Newaygo County Drain Commission,
        • the Newaygo Invasive Plant Project,
        • Mark Guzniak and
        • Charles Chandler.

As always, everything including the birdhouses and fishing gear that the kids took home was free of charge thanks to generous funding from the Fremont Area Community Foundation. With engaged and supportive partners like these, the Collaborative is rapidly establishing a reputation for excellent family focused environmental activities.


Everyone seemed to have a great time:

Louise Hunt posted on Facebook, “Thank you for hosting the party. Chilies were amazing! Ice fishing was windy as expected but the poles were a cool gift to bring home. The birdhouse building left a few sore fingers but also fun. The kids are tired.”

Lindsay Isenhart, a longtime MRWA supporter and participant commented, “A good time was had by all! What a fun, informative, and active event for the whole family. I love my bat house and I am giving my native plantings another shot armed with better information. Thanks to the Newaygo County Conservation Collaborative and so many great volunteers who put this event together.

Special thanks to Charles Chandler, a Muskegon River outfitter who donated a full day of spring steelhead fishing as GRAND prize for the free prize drawings. The lucky winner was Ryan Cooper of Grant.  Thanks also to Webelos Donivan and Gidian Gillette who stacked the wood for the bonfire and cleared the ice on the lake for skating and to all of those who volunteered to make this event fun and educational for everyone.